Extending using permitted development

Auction buyers consist generally of five main types; investors, developers, builders, ‘DIYers’ and one-off buyers. The investment buyers are looking for a return on their investment whilst developers are looking for projects with planning. We then have everyone else looking to purchase a property with a view to adding value and maximising profit when the property is sold to an end user post improvement works.

Most end users are looking for a well-presented property with an open plan contemporary feel which maximises space and light to create a modern way of living. Therefore adding even the smallest of extensions can improve a property’s value whilst also making it much more appealing for onward sale.

So how easy can it be…


The answer is no…

There are exemptions, for example you can build up to six metres (eight metres if your house is detached) However, there are other rules you need to keep in mind, some which are outlined below:

  • No more than half of the land around the house can be covered by other buildings.
  • No extension can be forward elevation or side elevation in front of a highway.
  • No extension can be higher than the highest part of your roof.
  • Single storey extensions cannot extend beyond the rear wall of the original building by more than 8 metres.
  • Max height of a single-storey extension is four metres.
  • Extensions more than one storey cannot be extended beyond the rear wall by more than 3 metres of the house.
  • Two storey extensions cannot be closer than seven metres to the house’s rear boundary.
  • You cannot have balconies, verandas or a raised platform.

It’s always best to seek advice from a suitable professional before commencing any kind of work on an extension.

During the pandemic my husband and I have taken advantage of the permitted development regulations, using Building Regulations in order to extend our own 1920’s home, drawing upon skills and knowledge we’ve accumulated during our careers and previous renovation projects.

With my husband’s extensive knowledge in the building and carpentry trade alongside my own experience through years of working within the property industry, the build began.

The process was incredibly straight forward, we contacted the Local Authority Planning Department with our Building Notice application and prospective plans which, with some consultation were duly approved.

We informed them of the build commencement date and during the construction phase they were keen to inspect our work to ensure compliance with Building Regulations at each stage of construction in accordance with the Inspection Service Plan which they issued to us. The building inspector’s advice proved invaluable during the process, advising on processes and materials.

With ground works, block laying, stud work, insulating and roof construction now completed we are almost finished. We have chosen to complete the internal finish with solid oak flooring and neutral coloured walls. Occupation of the extension is the final stage to be approved before the Completion Certificate is issued.

We’ve been able to create a fabulous 6x10mtr contemporary open plan room giving the whole house an updated modern spacious appearance using Velux windows in the roof and Bi-fold doors overlooking our garden. This has most definitely increased the value of the property and provided the house with a much-improved living space

It was a lot of hard work but we’ve enjoyed every minute (needless to say it wasn’t much fun in the middle of winter) but summer is fast approaching and it’s almost time to enjoy the ‘fruits of our labours’.

The Permitted Development scheme is definitely worth considering for all those looking to add space or value to their property.

Audrey Smith

Senior Auction Appraiser 

West Country Office